There is nothing I truly love more than traveling.

The spark, the excitement that leads to departure day especially picking out the perfect outfit. My mom used to say, “You’ll never get bumped to first class if you don’t look like first class.” I haven’t gotten bumped yet but I’ve gotten free wine and that’s pretty much the same thing.

I’m always running late. It adds to the thrill. I think more clearly when I’m being rushed out the door. Did I remember my charger, my passport and my credit card?

I always have my carry on packed with a few shawls and my travel size shampoo and toothpaste. I pack a week before departure, rolling up everything to prevent wrinkles. The night before I leave, I unpack everything completely, omitting things I know I won’t need which is about 80% of the contents. I wear practically the same thing daily; blue jeans with holes in the knees, ankle booties, and a black or white tee.

I decided a few months ago when I moved to Palm Springs from San Diego that I wouldn’t spend my money on stuff to furnish my apartment but instead on plane tickets and toward a backpacking trip through Europe. Therefore, my place looks like a spy’s crash pad. A chair here, a TV stand with no TV there, but a fully organized closet.

Once at the airport, through security, I ask myself the most important question, where to have a drink and people watch? I like getting to the airport early enough for at least one drink. You meet pretty interesting characters in the bar.

And what’s everyone’s story? Are they on business? Are these people traveling to meet a new family member or say goodbye to one? Or are they like me, and just find any excuse to get out of town?

All of these people! It really drives home the saying, ‘Everyone is fighting a different battle so don’t be a fucking asshole.’ Or something like that.

Superstitiously, I knock on the exterior of the plane twice before stepping on. I always book a window seat because I love the scenery and the guessing game of ‘Where Is Rachel?’ Actually it’s more of ‘Where The Hell Am I?’ because I don’t refer to myself in the third person. That’s just weird.

Take off and landing have always been my favorite. Blame it on my biological father. He was a pilot so it’s in my blood to be fascinated with aircraft. I can feel it when we get to the speed to lift our wheels and I always compliment the pilot on a smooth landing. It’s a hard job making sure a bunch of people land safely at their destination. The least I can do is thank them for a job well done and for not killing me in a fiery crash.

Maybe it’s because I travel for fun. Or because I’m still single and don’t have to schlep a family around but I always feel most creative and comfortable in an airport. Except at Atlanta, fuck that place.

My coworker asked me how much writing I was going to get done on this trip and honestly I was too busy taking in my surroundings to get my pen and Shinola journal out, until now, leaving PBI en route to ORD, where it is 38 degrees.

And snowing.